Tech4Good - Celebrating 30 years of the World Wide Web

“There are very few innovations that have truly changed everything,” said Jeff Jaffe, CEO of the World Wide Web Consortium. “The Web is the most impactful innovation of our time.”

This year marks the 30thanniversary of the World Wide Web – invented by Tim Berners Lee in 1989. Berners-Lee, then a 33 year old software engineer, wrote in his proposal that ‘the aim would be to allow a place to be found for any information or reference which one felt was important, and a way of finding it afterwards’. He wanted to democratise information, and make it accessible to all.

At the Tech4Good Awards each year we recognise inspiring examples of accessible technologies that help disabled people achieve their goals. The impact of the World Wide Web for disabled people and other communities has been huge. Enabling people to connect to others from home, find the information they need and access key services they may not have been able to otherwise.

Little did Berners-Lee know what a huge impact the web would make on how we communicate, share and access information.

To celebrate this, we’re taking a look at two of our award winners who have made full use of the World Wide Web:

The Big Give: Digital Giving Award Winner, 2013

The Big Give is a not-for-profit website that helps charities to use the internet to fundraise in innovative ways. They profile the work of thousands of organisations and their projects and are responsible for the UK’s biggest online match funding campaign – the Christmas Challenge. In December 2013, the Challenge raised over £11 million online for 387 charities. This amounted to over 11,000 individual donations online.

what3words: BT Ingenious Award Winner 2015

what3words is a free mobile app and online map that provides a precise and incredibly simple way to talk about location. In a world where 75% of the population suffer from inadequate addressing systems, an accurate address may mean the difference between receiving vital aid and deliveries, reporting disease and exercising human rights. All because people are without a simple way to communicate where they live. what3words solves this problem by dividing the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigning each one a unique three word address. This makes it significantly more memorable than the equivalent alphanumeric characters or coordinates required to define the same location. It’s also much easier to say, and therefore more accessible to all.

The 2019 Tech4Good Awards open for nominations on 27 March and we are looking forward to seeing what innovative new ways have been found to use the World Wide Web for good this year.

‘This is for everyone.’ tweeted Berners-Lee during his participation in the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony. How right he was.